Summer Cleaning (Serial Marketer Weekly #18)

This is a great week for pruning. What I’m focused on most is eliminating distractions.

Instagram Stories is one of my favorite rabbit holes. Instead of scrolling down Instagram, suddenly I only found myself scrolling sideways, and then tapping to see what photos and short videos appear. A number of these are from friends and people I care about, and that’s great. Plenty of others are from people who post funny or beautiful imagery, but I have no relationship with them and never well. I’ve been pressing “mute.” That mute button is my current favorite feature of Instagram.

Shapr is an app that has expanded significantly from being a niche networking service based out of France. It still has a disproportionate number of aggressive salespeople who seem to want to sell their wealth management services and other such offerings, but I have met some good people through there. It’s set up like Tindr but is strictly professional; it feels even more anodyne than LinkedIn that way. Shapr’s app loves telling you when you have new people to potentially meet (your number of ‘swipes’ resets daily). If you’re a pro user, there are constant reminders to see who swiped you right. I am fine checking that app periodically; I don’t need any reminders. If I never check it again, I’ll be okay with just LinkedIn, so I may delete the app in time. Meanwhile, I’ve turned off notifications. That’s several fewer alerts a day.

As mentioned in recent editions here, I’ve become a fan of the Franz desktop communications app that lumps together different Slack channels, Gmail, LinkedIn, Skype, Messenger, and more. The best feature? You can granularly customize which notifications you get from which apps. For the most part, I choose “pull” over “push.” For Serial Marketers, I’ll still get alerts about every last message you care to post there. But those choices are mine, and I turned off alerts for most other apps.

Are you doing any summer cleaning before Labor Day kicks in? What services are you removing or changing? What are you using to better take control of your time? I’d love to hear about them.

And most importantly, I’d love to hear what you’re making of yourself.



Announcing self-serve access to Amazon Advertising in the Scope by 4C platform. Welcome to the -1 moment of truth!


Here’s one that rose the ranks of Product Hunt lately. Use it to create a buyer persona – something that winds up being very useful for other exercises, such as coming up with a content marketing plan, or figuring out your targets for prospecting. It’s a great way to ensure teams like sales and marketing are aligned. I used a previous version of this and look forward to trying the update.

In this Fast Company story, a long-awaited change in medical regulations could create exponential opportunity in a consumer hardware category. This is the money passage: “Now, that regulatory anchor is about to come loose. Last August, Congress passed the OTC Hearing Aid Law of 2017. When it goes into effect in August 2020, if not sooner, companies will be able to sell hearing aids over the counter to people with mild to medium impairment online or at any drugstore, just like glasses makers sell $10 readers to people who don’t want to bother with an optometrist.” Hat tip to Nir Eyal for posting this.

It’s very tough for any sell-side company to produce a great newsletter (speaking from experience, it’s so damn hard to get anyone to care, and GDPR should reduce the opt-out approach most take). Nudge, the analytics platform for branded content, offers a rare exception with This Week in Native Ads. You’ll find some of the more pertinent ad industry news, along with useful examples of branded content and native ads. I caught up with the CEO recently and was impressed how hands-on Ben Young is in publishing it; it’s an important enough marketing vehicle for them that he makes the time to contribute to it and get it just right. Read it on their blog or sign up for the newsletter.


With certain upcoming events, you’ll find exclusive codes below. I don’t require this for sharing events here, let alone in the Slack group, but if you have a relevant event and want to extend an offer to the community, please reach out.

October 4-5
New York, NY
This event is really several in one, covering music, games, TV & video, and rights tech. I’ll be moderating a panel on voice-activated AI for media and entertainment.

October 15-19
New York, NY
Kite Hill PR is back with another round of their annual Communications Week, with the theme of The Workforce of the Future. As always, they have a mix of paid and free events, including the PRSA Tri-State conference and some shorter events open to all. They always put a lot of thought into their programming; I’ve been going for years.

October 30
Hailed as “the largest one-day media event of the year,” hot topics include multi-screen marketing, location data, and new media models. Brands and agencies can attend for as little as $150, and I’m looking forward to attending.

Early application deadline: October 4
Application deadline: November 15
SXSW Pitch event: March 9-10, 2019
Thanks to a judge of this event for sharing it; previously known as SXSW Accelerator. Startups have the opportunity to connect and compete in front of a live audience, panel of expert judges, venture capitalists, and high-profile media at SXSW 2019.